In a bid to reduce passenger discomfort, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu today directed the Ministry officials to review issues such as high airfares, passenger rights and safety as the financially challenged Jet Airways struggles to stay afloat.

The union minister in a tweet said, “Directed Secretary @MoCA_GoI to review issues related to Jet Airways, especially increasing fares, flight cancellations etc. Asked him (Pradeep Singh Kharola) to take necessary steps to protect passenger rights and safety; and to work with all stakeholders for their well being.”

The Mumbai based carrier has been reduced to a fleet of 7 airplanes after lessors decided to take back majority of Jet’s fleet after months of defaulting on loans and struggling to pay lessors and staff.

Jet Airways Monday said its services on overseas routes will remain grounded until April 18, even as the lenders failed to take a call on extending an emergency funding to the airline.

Lenders to Jet Airways have demanded more pledged shares of founder Naresh Goyal and planes owned by the airline as collateral for advancing further loans, even as the banks’ consortium remains sharply divided on additional debt assistance to Jet.

Jet owns 17 planes, mostly wide bodied Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s, while the rest are leased. It had a fleet of 124 planes as of December 2018. But the owned planes have already been collateralized against funds that were raised to finance their purchase. An airline usually finances 80% of a plane’s purchase via debt. The finance lease or EMIs on some 777s are supposed to be completed this year.

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Jet Airways Board of Directors are to meet today to decide on future course of action and discuss current state of finance. Jet’s lenders will also select by Tuesday the qualified bidders from the companies that have expressed interest in investing in it.



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